The Boys: What’s the deal with Billy Butcher’s accent?

The Boys has been in the news lately for quite a few reasons, and Billy Butcher’s strange accent has been one of them. Though Butcher’s character is supposed to be a Londoner according to the graphic novel series (on which the show is based), he seems to have a strange Cockney accent in the series.  

At first, I too, like many other fans on the internet, thought it was plain bad acting on Karl Urban’s part. But now that I think of it, it was most probably deliberately done to poke fun at the character.  

Many fans have different views on Butcher’s accent. While viewers in the UK have expressed doubts about the Englishness of the accent, Australian viewers found it to be quite dissimilar to their own as well.  

Billy Butcher is British in the series as well as in the graphic novels. He is supposed to have a Cockney accent in the show, but Karl Urban’s native New Zealand dialect comes through in his performance. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Billy Butcher’s weird accent and why it is the way it is.  

What accent does Billy Butcher have in The Boys?  

The Boys: What’s the deal with Billy Butcher’s accent?
Billy Butcher | Source: Fandom

First things first. What exactly is that accent? Well, as per the graphic novel series on which the show is based, Billy Butcher is supposed to be a Londoner. So naturally, one would assume him to have a distinct British accent.  

What is important is that till now, we’ve only just “read” the character’s accent and assumed how it would sound. Most readers assumed that he would have a Cockney accent, considering how his dialogues were written in the graphic novels.  

The Cockney accent is generally associated with Londoners and people from its neighboring areas, especially those belonging to the working class or lower-middle class. Knowing Butcher’s character, the Cockney accent goes well with him.  

But many fans from the UK have pointed out that Billy Butcher’s cockney accent in the series is not accurately English. This could be bad acting or bad execution, or it could be a clever move by the makers to poke fun in a satirical way.  

I think the latter is more likely because the show itself is satirical in nature. The bad accent could be to add another layer to Billy Butcher’s character. It’s poking fun at him, by combining the natural accent of Karl Urban with the supposed accent of his character.  

Having said that, though it is unlikely that the bad accent was simply an error on Karl Urban’s part or his natural accent coming through (which basically counts as bad acting), it is not impossible. However, the accent only seems questionable when you apply standard levels of realism to the otherwise satirical series.  

Butcher’s backstory is quite vague, but we do meet his parents in Season 2, and they are definitely English. So, the accent is definitely aimed at being English or Cockney.  

Is Billy Butcher British?  

The Boys: What’s the Deal with Billy Butcher’s Accent?
Billy Butcher | Source: Fandom

Yes, Billy Butcher is a Londoner in the graphic novels and also in the series. So, he is intended to have a typical Cockney accent, generally associated with middle-class working Londoners. Butcher’s parents are also British, so it can be assumed that he is a native English speaker.  

What is Karl Urban’s nationality?  

The Boys: What’s the Deal with Billy Butcher’s Accent?
Karl Urban as Billy Butcher | Source: IMDb

Karl Urban, the actor who plays Billy Butcher in The Boys, is not actually from the UK. He is from New Zealand. In fact, many viewers from the UK found his accent to be a little less Cockney and bent towards his own native accent.  

However, American viewers seem to be quite convinced by Urban’s accent. But viewers from Australia and even actual Cockney speakers found it to be quite superficial. Many pointed this out as a shortcoming of Urban’s otherwise stable performance as Billy Butcher.  

Who else is faking an accent on The Boys?  

Anthony Starr, who plays Homelander in the show, is also faking an accent in The Boys. He is originally from Australia but seems to have mastered the American accent. The character himself is supposed to be all-American, so getting the dialect right was of crucial importance here.  

The Boys: What’s the Deal with Billy Butcher’s Accent?
Homelander | Source: IMDb

Thankfully, Starr has done quite a good job in mastering the accent, unlike Karl Urban. Though we’re still not sure if it was intentionally done to mock the Britishness of Billy Butcher in general. 

Homelander’s staunch American accent stands in sharp contrast to Butcher’s British accent, though British speakers still remain quite doubtful about Urban’s dialogue delivery and mastering of the Cockney dialect.  

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About The Boys

The Boys is an American satirical superhero streaming television series developed by Eric Kripke for Prime Video. Based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, which was originally published by DC Comics under their Wildstorm imprint before moving to Dynamite Entertainment, it follows the eponymous team of vigilantes as they combat superpowered individuals who abuse their abilities.

The show is a satirical take on the superhero genre and showcases a world where superheroes are corporatized and controlled by companies. What happens when these superheroes step out of line and rub some boys the wrong way, is the story. 

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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